Illustrator Tutorial: Wrapping a pattern around a circular path

Start by creating a circle, an object you want to wrap, and a “copy and pasted” version of the object.
Highlight both objects and select “Object” => “Blend” => “Make”. You should now see a continuous pattern between your two objects.
Now highlight the newly blended path and the circular path and select “Object” => “Blend” => “Replace Spine”.
Notice how the object does not wrap around the full circle. This is not what we want, so let’s go back a step (undo) so that the blended object and the circle are separate. Select the scissor tool and click on one of the points along the circular path. You will not notice any changes, however, your circular path is now split at the point you just selected with the scissor tool.
Now if you select “Object” => “Blend” => “Replace Spine” again, you should see something similar to what is displayed below. We have successfully wrapped an object around a circular path.


We also have options for “Spacing”. There are three options:
  • “Smooth Color” makes a continuous colorful gradient if you are blending objects with different colors.
  • “Specified Steps” allows you to input the number of steps or repeated objects.
  • “Specified Distance” allows you to specify the distance between each one of your objects.
If you want control over each object that is wrapped around the circular path, highlight the path and select “Object” => “Expand” => “OK”. Now each one of your objects is a shape and can be edited accordingly. NOTE: Once you expand a blended path, you can no longer edit the path itself.